Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has criticised policies of former Conservative chancellor George Osborne with regard to housing.
Speaking at last week’s Landlord Investment Show, which took place at London Olympia, Duncan Smith, who until 2016 was the work and pensions secretary, said that Osborne had put policies in place that has had an adverse impact on the buy-to-let sector by deterring many landlords from expanding their portfolios.
The now former chancellor’s decision in 2016 to restrict mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and add a 3% levy on stamp duty for the purchase of additional homes has unsurprisingly not gone down well with landlords, as reflected by the fact that buy-to-let mortgage approvals have recently plummeted.
But the MP went on the record to show support for the idea of raising taxes on property investors who neglected to occupy their property, in order to avoid the proliferation of idle properties.
He cited policies carried out in the US, remarking: “We would be better off levying a tax on empty homes. For example, in New York, apartments can incur a tax of up to $20,000 if they are left empty.”